Power Integrations revs up motor-drive offering

11th June 2024
Paige West

Power Integrations has enhanced its hardware-software bundle for brushless DC motors (BLDC) with the introduction of BridgeSwitch-2.

This new family of high-voltage integrated half-bridge (IHB) motor-driver ICs targets applications up to 1HP (746W). The new ICs, featuring high- and low-side drivers and advanced FREDFETs with integrated lossless current sensing, deliver inverter efficiency of up to 99%. The IHB architecture eliminates hot spots, increasing design flexibility and reliability, reducing component count, and saving PCB space. BridgeSwitch-2 is supported by Power Integrations’ MotorXpert software suite, which includes single-phase trapezoidal control and three-phase sensorless Field Oriented Control (FOC) modules, speeding up inverter development.

BridgeSwitch-2 ICs handle operational exceptions in hardware, allowing the use of IEC 60730 Class A safety software, which reduces certification time by months. Quiescent BLDC inverters can enter sleep mode, reducing driver power consumption to less than 10mW. This low power consumption leaves more power available under regulated standby power limits for loads such as network access and monitoring.

Cristian Ionescu-Catrina, Product Marketing Manager at Power Integrations, said: “The low standby consumption of BridgeSwitch-2-based motor drives enables designers to meet new and emerging EU ERP regulations. BridgeSwitch-2 ICs are also far more efficient than IGBT based IPMs across the entire load range.

“From startup to performance optimisation, the GUI-based tool, terminal emulator and MISRA C-compliant code library of MotorXpert greatly simplifies the design process, allowing the motor architecture to be optimised in real-time without repeated firmware updates. BridgeSwitch-2 is microprocessor agnostic, easing its adoption into existing systems – this is important as engineers update designs to meet more stringent standby regulations.”

BridgeSwitch-2 ICs cover a power range of 30 to 746W (1HP), making them suitable for a wide variety of applications, including heat exchanger fans, refrigerator compressors, fluid and circulation pumps, gas boiler combustion fans, washing machine drums, and kitchen blenders and mixers. The IHB architecture reduces component count by 50% and PCB space by 30% compared to discrete designs by eliminating shunt resistors and associated signal conditioning circuits. This also eliminates shunt losses, improving efficiency. Precise motor control is achieved with built-in real-time reporting of phase current (IPH) information. Accurate turn-on/off gate drive and a soft-body diode result in a typical EMI profile 10 dB lower than existing drivers, allowing for the use of a smaller EMI filter.

BridgeSwitch-2 ICs feature built-in DC overvoltage protection and current limits that protect the inverter and the system without relying on system software. The choice of error-flag or comprehensive fault bus reporting supports various system requirements. Emerging use cases like failure prediction are now possible with the high accuracy of the built-in IPH information and comprehensive reporting via the fault bus. BridgeSwitch-2 motor drives use built-in, hardware-based low- and high-side over-current protection to meet IEC 60335-1 Class A requirements. Additionally, BridgeSwitch-2 operates without an auxiliary power supply, further reducing PCB area and component count.

Availability & resources

Pricing for BridgeSwitch-2 ICs starts at $0.48 for 10,000-unit quantities. A 150W reference design and design report, RDK-974, can be freely downloaded.

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